3ts, a charity working to help prevent deaths by suicide, and DCU’s Students Union joined forces yesterday to highlight their suicide prevention and positive mental health initiative called ‘Share the Load’.
124 backpacks, representing the average number of college students who die by suicide in Ireland each year, were displayed on DCU’s Glasnevin campus with the aim of encouraging conversation about the impact of suicide in colleges and to highlight the various mental health supports provided by Students’ Union on campus at DCU and in other colleges around the country.
“The main aim of today’s initiative is to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and to showcase the various simple activities that can help and also the supports that are available for students both inside and outside of DCU”
said Podge Henry, Welfare and Equality Officer at DCU’s Students Union.
“Mental health is something that affects us all at some stage or another. College brings with it a lot of fun but also a lot of stresses at different times. We think it’s important that students realise that it is good to talk about these stresses and that a problem shared is a problem halved. It’s OK not to feel ok and we want you to know that your Students Union is here to support you whenever you may need it.”
Speaking on behalf of 3ts, Mental Health Co-Ordinator and Psychotherapist, Clare O’Brien said:
“We are delighted to work with DCU’s Students’ Union and we would like to commend them for their exceptional work so far. Our campaign ‘Share the Load’ is designed to be complementary to the great work that takes place in colleges all over the country. The premise of ‘Share the Load’ is that it is a dual invitation – firstly, to open up and share how you are feeling and secondly to be there for someone else who might be going through a tough time. Sadly, our young people are still the most ‘at risk’ group when it comes to suicide in Ireland. Activities such as these, which are taken on and run by Students themselves to highlight helpful supports, have never been more important in this context.”
3Ts also took the opportunity today to highlight their complementary ‘3Steps to Mental Health’ programme which aims to foster a better understanding of mental illness; suggests ways to approach the topic if you are concerned for someone and teaches us how to access crisis and specialist supports.
Speaking about 3 Steps, Clare O’Brien said:
“The premise of 3Steps is to teach people to Know the Signs, Know the Words and Know your Supports. Our 3Steps wallet size card is a simple, practical guide on what to do if you are concerned that someone is suicidal, with the process broken down into our 3Steps. These wallet cards are available to all organisations by contacting www.3ts.ie where a copy of the card may also be downloaded.”
In addition to activities such as these, 3ts also offers safeTALK training. safeTALK is a half-day alertness training that prepares people, regardless of prior experience or training, to become a suicide-alert helper.
For further information on 3ts, please visit www.3ts.ie